#1
I had the opportunity to play a Mesa Mark V a while back. It was amazing and now I want one, but it would be in my apartment most of the time (although I do jam at a studio where I could turn it up once or twice a week).

I know the Mark V has a 10/45/90W switch on it - does anyone here have much experience playing at apartment volume at 10W? What are your thoughts?

What about using the 45/90W settings with an attenuator? I have no experience with attentuators, and they aren't cheap, but I'd rather spend the extra money on one if it means I can get a Mark V tone.
Last edited by Crucifix79 at Dec 3, 2013,
#2
The Mark V is an amazing amp indeed. I wouldn't be too concerned that you live in an apartment. Your settings at lower power won't be significantly different when you go all out, just a few tweaks to compensate for the room - wood vs carpet vs cement vs tile floor. The acoustics will always change when you move from room to room and you'll need to somehow tweak each time anyway.
#3
Imagine your Mark V being a 458, my generic 5w amp being a DBS, and your apartment being a crowded city.
Now, not getting the Mark in favor of my generic 5w amp would be like not getting the 458 because you wouldn't be able to go at 350km/h.
Thing is, the DBS can go at say 300km/h.
Unless your alternative is a smart car (like a POD or a Kemper or something), choose what you like best for its feature, because you wouldn't be able to use its full power anyway.

Amps sound better when turned amp, that's a matter of fact, but they (that in particular) don't really sound bad at apartment volume - say a loud action movie playing on your tv, or someone shouting.


So yeah, the volume will not be a big deal anyway.
Plus, you could crank it a couple times a week, so that sounds pretty good to me.

If you want it get it indeed.
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#4
I play mine in my home at 90 watts without getting any complaints from the neighbors.

I do find that certain modes don't really shine until you really get them up loud though.
#6
The 10 watt mode is hella quiet on my Mark V while still getting good tones. No attenuator needed honestly.
#7
I have a Mark IV and never turn it above 0.5/10 on the master volume. Usually run on full power (85w) and it sounds fantastic. From what I hear, the Mark series amps are some of the best-sounding high wattage amps when played at low volumes because they rely almost entirely on preamp distortion, so you don't need to crank the master volume. I'd say go for it!
#9
Just an additional note though... The combo kind of sucks at low volume. Actually it really sucks at low volume. Normally I like the C90 speakers in my cabs but it just doesn't work for the Mark V combo. Get a Head/Cab setup or be prepared to put a better speaker in the combo.
#11
Thanks for all the replies! Definitely thinking about pulling the trigger now on the Mark V. I guess the only other thing to consider is whether to get a combo or head+cab like icronic mentioned.
#12
Quote by ibanez1997
I have a Mark IV and never turn it above 0.5/10 on the master volume. Usually run on full power (85w) and it sounds fantastic. From what I hear, the Mark series amps are some of the best-sounding high wattage amps when played at low volumes because they rely almost entirely on preamp distortion, so you don't need to crank the master volume. I'd say go for it!


+1 MKIV's can be awesome quiet. take the Global master low, and take the individual channel to literally just north of zero boost it and its quiet as hell. AND it doesn't sound half bad. ever since i have had my MKIV it has been my go to 3am amp. i am in my house though and worst case scenario i wake up my wife, but she hasn't complained for a while.
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#13
Quote by Crucifix79
Thanks for all the replies! Definitely thinking about pulling the trigger now on the Mark V. I guess the only other thing to consider is whether to get a combo or head+cab like icronic mentioned.


i own three combo amps. one is a vintage music man, the other is a vintage ampeg, and the other is a trace elliot speed twin (beater for most bars, because its the easiest to transport.

i however must be over a dozen heads. three need work when i get to them. i have probably 8-10 (not really sure) cabs two 2x12"s and 1x12", the rest 4x12"s. i have two 1x15"s i have built (void free baltic birch), i just need speakers and a better way of finishing them. however i just think i will stain them and laquer or tung oil.

heads are so much better IMO. you can put it through anything you want. maybe you want to run it on a 15" for some reason, or a closed back (if the MKV is openback in combo form).

also, it is easier to carry a head and small cab (ex 2x12"), amp in one hand, cab in the other.

combos are heavier as one piece and make it slightly more awkward to carry up stairs or long distances.

its not necessarily the weight, the worst thing is it is awkward. i think one of my combos is around 85lbs, according to the specs i found.
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#14
Go mark head and cab. The mark amps have always been pretty compact, but my mark iv combo weighs like 90 lbs.
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#15
I had a Mark V and loved it. The head/cab is a better way to go over the combo. I found liking a cab plugged into it more than the combo. I am not a fan of open backed cabs. Plus the combo is heavy as hell. I found a V30 sounded better at lower volume than the stock speaker in the combo.

I had no problem getting some killer tones out of my combo at apartment friendly settings. You'll need the FX loop active if I remember correctly to get the master volume in.

Not sure what style of music you play but it takes a little bit of tweaking to get it dialed in. First time I fired it up I scratched my head. Had to turn the gain way up. Ignore where the knobs point and dial it in by ear.
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Last edited by R45VT at Dec 4, 2013,
#16
honestly, its not much about wattage as it is about the amp itself. some sound better at low volumes and are easier to tweak at low volumes regardless of wattage.

but in general, i would say the mark V is a lot more flexible has has a lot more use cases than most amps. really a great design.

if i ever needed a higher wattage amp (over 45 watts) a mesa mark 5 would be one of the main considerations.
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#17
Quote by Crucifix79
Thanks for all the replies! Definitely thinking about pulling the trigger now on the Mark V. I guess the only other thing to consider is whether to get a combo or head+cab like icronic mentioned.


I would recommend getting the head, I have the combo and I regret it. Going to convert my combo into a head eventually.
#18
Quote by R45VT
Ignore where the knobs point and dial it in by ear.


That really is the key to mastering the Mark V. Your eyes will ALWAYS lead you astray with that amp. If you're tone is too bright, turning UP the treble and presence can actually fix the problem. You can do things with the midrange that you just couldn't do with any other amp and there are a lot of really weird combinations of the standard EQ + GEQ that can yield some awesome results.

I still haven't figured out how to make the Tweed or the Crunch settings sound good at low volumes... Or medium volumes... Or loud volumes... However at volumes capable of planetary destruction the tones these two modes produce is absolute bliss.

I blew one of the Black Shadows in my 2x12 3/4 back cab. Replaced them with a Swamp Thang + Texas Heat. Paired with a 2x12 Stiletto cab this thing is an absolute beast. I keep saying that I'm just going to start using the AxeFX for everything and then I keep plugging into my Mark V and changing my mind.